Sunday, August 31, 2014

If there’s genocide in Gaza, there’s genocide in South Africa

As the current cease-fire was about to begin on August 26, 2014 between Gaza and Israel, the Gazan death toll for their 50-day war stood at 2,133 (“Gaza death toll increases as Israeli strikes continue”, The Guardian, August 25, 2014). How many of these deaths were civilian is unknown, so for this report, we won’t distinguish between combatant and civilian. We’ll just talk about ‘deaths’.
Put into a simple arithmetic, 2,133 deaths meant that 42.66 Gazans died each day during those 50 days. It’s on that basis that three accusing words have been hurled at Israel: ‘genocide’, ‘massacre’ and ‘holocaust’.
Al Jazeera spoke of ‘genocide’ (“On Gaza, genocide, and impunity”, July 27, 2104). So did Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (“Abbas: Israel committing ‘Genocide’ in Gaza”, Al Arabia, July 9, 2014). So did Jewish Holocaust survivors who placed an ad into The New York Times (“Holocaust survivors condemn Israel for 'genocide' in Gaza", The Atlanta Constitutional Journal, August 24, 2014). Hamas political leader Khaled Maashal spoke of an Israeli ‘holocaust‘ (“In personal plea, top Hamas leader calls on Obama to stop 'holocaust' in Gaza”, Yahoo News, August 25, 2014).
But was there really a ‘Holocaust’ against Gaza? Do 42.66 deaths per day constitute a holocaust, massacre or genocide?
According to the website, CAMERA (" ‘Holocaust in Gaza’ Hyperbole”, August 25, 2014), there was no ‘holocaust’,  massacre or genocide in Gaza. If, for example, you look at the Nazi Holocaust—the real thing—you’ll see that some 5.5 million Jews were murdered by Nazis over 1,414 days, between June 22, 1941 –May 8, 1945 (ibid). Additional Jews were killed before and after these dates. But for historical purposes, many date the ‘Holocaust’ as having occurred between these two dates.
In simple arithmetic terms, this German-inspired genocide-massacre-holocaust calculates to 3,890 Jewish men, women and children put to death every single day for 1,414 days (ibid). That’s what a Holocaust looks like.
42.66 Gazan deaths per day for 50 days doesn’t come close to that number. If you want to demonize a country for deaths, you’d do better to accuse Syria where—according to CAMERA—some 250,000 children, women and men have perished since March 2011, over a period of 1,260 days. That death toll calculates to nearly 200 humans a day dying for 1,260 days (ibid).
The UN says the death toll in Syria is lower than 250,000. It says the number is 191,000. But even using that lower number, we get nearly 152 humans dying each of those 1,260 days.
The Gazan death toll is not remotely comparable to Nazi Holocaust numbers, to Syria’s numbers—or to any other ‘genocide’ or holocaust. While it appears that no one has converted genocide death numbers to a per-day death toll, it seems that 42.66 per day doesn’t make the grade.
It doesn’t make the grade because it’s too close to murder rates, not ‘genocide’, massacre or ‘’holocaust’ rates.  In Ethiopia (2008, 55 per day) and South Africa (2009, 46 per day), annual murder rates were higher than the Gazan war death rate--yet news stories do not repeatedly label South Africa or Ethiopia ‘genocidal’ or a ‘holocaust’.
Even when you look the death rate of Arabs in both Judea-Samaria and Gaza (combined) for the 14 years since the beginning of the Second Intifada (September, 2000), you don’t get ‘holocaust’ results. While any death is sad, these 14 years of Arab deaths add up to less than 1.9 violent deaths per day—including the most recent Gaza toll.
Many, if not most of those deaths, occurred as Arabs attacked Jews.
That figure is lower than 14-year violent death rates for Venezuela (32.9 violent deaths per day), Guatemala (14.5 violent deaths per day), El Salvador (9 violent deaths per day), Honduras (13.3 violent deaths per day) and Jamaica (3.60 violent deaths per day).
Have you ever seen the words, ‘holocaust’, ‘massacre’ or ‘genocide’ used to describe these countries? I haven’t. But we have all seen those words used repeatedly to describe Israel.
Remember now, a violent death between civilians is different from a war death. Violent death between civilians  is personal. It’s usually one-on-one . War death means that someone dies trying to kill you—or, in the case of Gaza, while also using one’s body to immunize a legitimate military target.
Nevertheless, if a war death rate of less than 1.9 per day (in Arab territories) qualifies as ‘genocide’, ‘massacre’ or ‘holocaust’, what word would you use for South Africa?
South Africa—which has a recent history of demonizing Israel—has a 14-year average (2000-2013) violent death rate of more than 52 deaths per day. That’s 30 times the Arab death rate claimed by Arabs against Israel. Has anyone repeatedly and consistently accused South Africa of presiding over a ‘holocaust’, ‘genocide’ or ‘massacre’? No.
The truth is, ‘Holocaust’, ‘massacre’ and ‘genocide’ have nothing to do with Gazans or Arabs—except for this: it’s what Gazans and Arabs want to do to Jews.
If you doubt that, read the Hamas Charter.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Netanyahu failure?

It appears that public support for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has evaporated.  On July 23, 2014, his approval rating was 82 per cent. On August 25, 2014, that rating had fallen to 38 per cent (“Massive drop in support for Netanyahu — poll”, Times of Israel, August 25, 2014). Two days later, it stood a 32 per cent (“Majority of Israelis Think Israel Didn't Win Gaza Operation”, Arutz Sheva, August 27, 2014).

Benjamin Netanyahu is a successful politician. In Israel’s rough-and-tumble political arena, he has become the second longest-ruling PM in Israel’s history. Only the legendary David Ben-Gurion served longer.

Netanyahu has been successful because he is smart. He is skilled. He knows how to appeal to Israel’s often-fickle voters. He knows what voters want. He knows how to keep Israelis feeling secure and confident (see “The summer Israel’s security bubble wrap burst”, Haaretz, August 29, 2014).

But now, under pressure from Hamas, the US and the UN, he appears to have made a mistake. He has provoked Israelis to lose their confidence. He appears to have completely ignored—or misread—the intensity of voter feelings about Israel—and this war.

By signing a cease-fire with Hamas that leaves Hamas free to attack Jewish Israel at will, Netanyahu is not defending the Jewish homeland. He is not defending Israel. He is not defending Jews.

Reader comments to the Times of Israel report (above) support such a conclusion. Israelis are angry: “the PM has been too passive in the face of Israel’s enemies… Netanyahu always has Israel on defense, aiming for a draw at best… Israel will steadily lose ground if it is never on offense against its enemies” (ibid).

In Israel, a super-majority of Israeli Jews maintain a strong attachment to a Jewish Israel (see “A Portrait of Israeli Jews: Beliefs, Observance, and Values of Israeli Jews, 2009", Asher Arian (z”l), The Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute for The AVI CHAI – Israel Foundation, Jerusalem, 2012). That sense of attachment is ignored at a politician’s peril.

That’s why this latest cease-fire agreement appears especially galling. Instead of fighting to defeat an enemy who hates Jews, Netanyahu stops fighting—and leaves Israel’s south still vulnerable (“Home Front Command orders southern bomb shelters kept open”, Jerusalem Post, August 27, 2014). 

Worse, this cease-fire may actually help Hamas--and do nothing for Israel. While Israel claims that Hamas got ‘nothing’ from this agreement, some report that Hamas will get a reduction of the Gaza blockade, an extension of the Gaza fishing zone (which had been limited for security reasons), and the opening of crossings for freer passage of people and funds.

But if we don’t know for certain what Hamas gets, we do know this: any benefits Israel is to get remain “to be specified” (ibid).

Netanyahu has accepted this arrangement? What kind of deal was this? It seemed to give more to Hamas than Netanyahu gained for Israel’s Jews.

It’s no surprise that Netanyahu’s approval ratings have plummeted. In war, voters want more than uncertainty, especially when dealing with a foe whose goals are so clear. In war, voters want to feel a sense of confidence, a sense that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Today, after 65 soldiers and 5 civilians have been killed, Israel’s south is as exposed, unprotected and unsafe as it was 52-plus days ago, when the war with Gaza started. Hamas has not been defanged (“‘We will never disarm,’ vows Hamas chief”, Times of Israel, August 29, 2014).  

What kind of message does that send to our enemies?

We know what kind of message: just one day after the agreement, Muslims sent that message to Israel from Syria (“Mortar Shells Continue to Pound Golan Heights”, Arutz Sheva, August 27, 2014). Now, we are warned to stay away from the northern border region (“Public Requested to Steer Clear of Syrian Border”, Arutz Sheva, August 28, 2014). Now, Iran announces it has started to arm Arabs in Judea-Samaria (“Iran says it has begun arming West Bank”, Times of Israel, August 28, 2014). Now, Islam demands Jewish blood (“Spanish Cleric: 'Allah Destroy the Jews, Spare None of Them'”, Arutz Sheva, August 27, 2014).

The Muslim war against the Jewish Israel hasn’t stopped. It won’t stop.

Israelis are fed up. They don’t believe Netanyahu has handled this war well. He appears to have failed the Jewish people he is supposed to protect (“Polls: Israelis unhappy with truce, feel less secure than before Gaza operation”, Jerusalem Post, August 28, 2014).

He has provoked a crisis of confidence. His leadership appears to have faltered (“MK Herzog: Netanyahu Lost the Public’s Trust”, Arutz Sheva, August 28, 2014). He is in trouble.

He’s earned it—unless, of course, he’s got an ace up his sleeve.

Only the G-d of Israel knows what will happen next.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Geometry, Hamas’ victory--and a whisper

From the moment a new cease-fire between Hamas and Israel began (at 7 pm Israel time, August 26, 2014), Hamas has been telling the world it ‘won’ this latest round of the Arab-Israel conflict (“Hamas claims ‘victory’ as Gaza truce agreed with Israel”, Times of India,  Aug 26, 2014). This is a trademark of Hamas: it starts a war it cannot win, gets pulverized, then declares victory.

In this latest war with Israel, Hamas has accomplished little. It killed few Jews (thank G-d), destroyed little Jewish property and conquered none of Israel’s land.

The cost for these meagre accomplishments was horrific: more than 2,000 Gazans were killed. Dozens of schools, clinics, mosques and public buildings were destroyed. More than 17,000 Gazan homes were destroyed or severely damaged. Another 37,000 homes were damaged in some way. More than 400,000 Gazans have been internally displaced. Hundreds of businesses were ruined.

Worst of all, Hamas’ war will have a devastating impact on Gaza’s tiny 6 billion USD economy.  Even before the fighting ended, total cost estimates for damage and economic losses ranged between 5 and 6 billion USD. Gaza has never experienced such a loss.

This wasn’t victory. It was abject defeat.

According to traditional cost-benefit calculations for the cost of a war, this insane adventure looks like a complete disaster for Gaza. Hamas appears to have achieved nothing for the devastation it has created.

Nevertheless, Hamas might be right. It might indeed have ‘won’.

Victory for Hamas is not measured the way the West measures it. Victory for Hamas doesn’t mean land conquered or freedom achieved or enemy rebuffed.

Hamas has a different definition for victory: did this war promote the Muslim effort to destroy Israel?

That’s the yard-stick. It’s the only yard-stick.

Hamas has never been shy about its purpose. It has always been honest about its desire to destroy Israel. It states in its Charter that it rejects all political compromise with Israel. That Charter declares, there is only one solution for the ‘Palestinian problem’: Jihad, or holy war against the Jew.

Hamas’ sole aim is to drive the Jews out of Israel. Everything Hamas does is measured by this standard.

Therefore, according to this standard, Hamas may have achieved a distinctive victory in this 2014 war. It made Jews run.

Put another way, it has done precisely what it has stated it wants to do. It has driven Jews from their homes. True, much of this success is only temporary. Most Israelis who fled will return once the rockets stop.

But the Hamas standard does not distinguish between temporary or permanent. In this war, thousands of Jews in Israel’s south have fled their homes to seek safer places for themselves and their children. That means that, with this fifty-day war, Hamas has made parts of southern Israel temporarily Jew-free.

For this war, both the Times of Israel (“2 Israelis killed in mortar attack, just before truce takes effect”, August 26, 2014) and the Associated Press (“Gaza attacks trigger Israeli exodus from border”, August 25, 2014) have reported that 70 per cent of some 40,000 Israelis who live along the Gaza border have fled their homes during July-August 2014. That means that 28,000 Jews had been driven from their homes.

No other Muslim group has done that. Hamas’ accomplishment is extraordinary.

Hamas has won on another level. Late in the fighting (in August), Hamas found for the very first time the secret to future success—a tactic that drives Jews from their homes. That tactic is simple: limit your rocket-fire to a closed triangle. That triangle runs app north up the coast from Gaza to Ashdod, then Southeast from Ashdod to Beersheva, then due West from Beersheva back to Gaza.

Keep your rocket-fire concentrated inside that triangle. Pound that triangle mercilessly. Fire 120 rockets a day for at least 50 days. Turn the triangle into a triangle of death.

In the next round of fighting with Israel, Gaza will suffer more than it has suffered now. But that damage will be meaningless. More dead Gazans will be meaningless.

The dead will be called martyrs. They will be honoured. Then, nations of the world will donate the billions Gaza will need to restock, reload and rebuild its war machine.

The only thing that counts is this: Hamas made Jews flee. Now, the world can see how Jihad (holy war) overpowers the mighty Jew.

Hamas learned a lot from this war. It learned a new Muslim geometry for victory: the triangle of death.

There is a whisper in Israel about that triangle. The whisper says, Hamas created it using rocket launchers embedded next to Gazan civilians. The whisper says, the IDF knew about those launchers—but did little about them because it was concerned about killing Gazan civilians ("Is This Why 4-Year-Old Daniel Tragerman Was Murdered?", Arutz Sheva, August 27, 2014).

Do you understand Hamas’ victory? Do you understand the whisper?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hamas, Islam, Palestinianism—and G-d

Last updated: August 28, 2014
Today, Hamas celebrates. During the fifty-day 2014 Gaza-Israel war, it has driven thousands of Jews from their homes in southern Israel. It has made parts of southern Israel Judenrein—Jew-free. It is the first Islamic force in the 21st century to drive Jews backward.

But Hamas is not the only Islamic force moving forward. In the United States, Islam spreads into small communities and local school-boards. Islamic dress and prayer-rooms proliferate. In schools and corporations, Islam becomes the favoured religion.

In Europe, Islam rules supreme over entire sections of large cities. Sharia (Islamic law) replaces local law.

While Hamas sings it has defeated the Jew of Israel, Islam builds mosques in America. It darkens the landscape of Western Europe. It pushes the West to redefine justice and morality for the benefit of Islam. It recruits Americans and Europeans to kill for allah.

Islam in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq transforms into IS (Islamic State). It imposes a barbaric Islam modern man has never seen: beheadings, crucifixions and rape.

Islam is unrelenting. It is voracious. In Iraq, it buried hundreds of women and children alive. In Syria it has killed more than 200,000 in less than three-and-a-half years. In Israel, it has bombarded Jews with a hundred rockets a day for more than fifty days.

Islam is conquest. In the Palestinian Authority, Islamic Fatah creates maps that show an Islamic ‘Palestine’ replacing Israel. In Iraq, Islamic ISIS conquers city after city. From Iraq, the leader of ISIS announces that Islam will ‘conquer Rome’.

Islam doesn’t just bomb Israel. It reaches into Israel. It claims Jerusalem for itself. It calls the Jewish Joseph’s Tomb an Islamic holy site. It demands that Jews be forbidden to ascend the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian cause is Islam’s most attractive modern-day symbol. The Islamic State is its ugliest, most evil symbol.

Together, Palestinianism—the belief in the Palestinian cause--and the Islamic State (IS) work to bring Islam to the world. Both are Jihad. Both kill. Both promise conquest.  

For Islam, there will be peace only when Jews have been driven from Israel. There will be peace only when Islam reigns in place of Israel. There will be peace only when Islam reigns supreme, period.

Palestinianism is the way to remove the impure Jew from ‘Palestine’. Palestinianism is the path that will lead to the Middle East’s greatest Islamic Caliphate, with Jerusalem as its capital. Palestinianism is the way to bring allah to Jerusalem.

Hamas celebrates the defeat of the Jew in Israel because it knows that if Palestinianism triumphs over Israel, Islam will spread like wild-fire across the world. The Islamic State will see to it.

Palestinianism is the experiment that proves the theory: when the Jew can be removed from Israel and replaced by a Muslim ‘Palestine’, then every other country can be taken. The Islamic State will make sure of it.

If the G-d of Israel can be conquered, no one else will be able to stand against Islam. The world will kneel in fear before the sword of Islam. It will embrace allah or die.

‘Palestinianism’ is the vanguard. Hamas is the spear. ISIS is the enforcer. Allah is their inspiration.

Islam knows that Judaism is the dam that holds it back. It is the Jew who keeps Islam from conquering the West. The Jew is the prophylactic that prevents Islam’s total conquest.

The power of the Jewish State is that its existence inhibits the Islamic message. The power of the Jewish State is its Zion—its Jerusalem. A Jewish Jerusalem threatens Islam’s dream of conquest.

A Jewish Israel means that the G-d of Israel lives.

That’s why Palestinianism is so important: it will remove the G-d of Israel from Israel. It will erase Jewish history. It will conquer the holiness of the Jewish Jerusalem.

If Jewish Jerusalem falls, the full force of Islam will be released. Nothing will stand in its way. The deluge of the Islamic State will cover the earth.

Today, Palestinianism celebrates a victory over the Jew in Israel. It celebrates because Hamas has just demonstrated the power of Islam over the Jew.

Conquest is Islam. Palestinianism is its poster-child. Hamas is its sacrifice. The Islamic state (IS) is its reality.

Islam marches forward. But it attracts positive, admiring headlines only because of Hamas. Only Palestinianism wars so openly against the Jews.

Palestinianism demonizes the Jewish State. It criminalizes the Jewish State. It has just made another part of Israel (at least temporarily) Jew-free.

Through Hamas, the Islamic Palestine wants to conquer Israel. Through the IS, Islam wants to conquer the world.

Islam is on the march. It is relentless. It will not be stopped.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. The Islamic conquest can be stopped—through the G-d of Israel.

You just have to make the first move. You have to turn to G-d. You have to call to Him.

Will you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The final word on anti-Israel media bias in Gaza?

Today, I have an essay for you by Richard Behar. It comes from the August 21, 2014 edition of Forbes Magazine. The original essay is over 23,000 words. I have condensed and edited it.
I urge you to look at the original, at Forbes Magazine.
This essay is important. It demonstrates what journalism should be—a monitor. Because the press has behaved so badly during this 2014 Hamas-Israel war, this essay might be the final word on the media’s unprofessional performance in Gaza.
If you keep a scrap-book on this war, consider this essay. Perhaps it should stand as your collection’s ‘Introduction’:
The Media Intifada: Bad Math, Ugly Truths About New York Times [and other news outlets] In Israel-Hamas War
It’s a “media intifada,” notes Gary Weiss, an old colleague and one of the world’s top business investigative reporters. He is referring to the ongoing war in Gaza, where journalists working for American news outlets have, he says, “become part of the Hamas war machine.”
More than a month has passed since Israel began its Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. It’s high time to dig through the carnage that many of my colleagues are leaving behind.
On August 11th, the normally Israel-averse Foreign Press Association in Israel conceded what those closely following the war coverage already knew: That Hamas has been intimidating foreign reporters. In a harsh statement, it condemned the terrorist group for “the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.”
This is hardly surprising, as who can expect a terrorist group to treat reporters nicely? But what is surprising is that New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren undermined her own newspaper—quickly denouncing the FPA’s statement. She said in a tweet that she wasn’t aware of any such harassed reporters, even though she concedes she spent only one week in Gaza herself during the height of the conflict.
There’s a lot of nonsense being disseminated about Israel’s war with Hamas. Since late July, I’ve discovered exactly how much nonsense. My findings are hardly complete, as it’s impossible to keep up with all the coverage while fighting continues. I focus heavily on the Times because it is, without question, the most important media outlet in the world, in terms of setting the table each day for other outlets.  It is also widely regarded as the most authoritative media outlet in the world for international coverage. Since the operation began on July 8th, much of the Western coverage has been predictably skewed against Israel—through those time-honored journalism 'tools' of sloppy and lazy reporting, superficiality, omission, lack of historical knowledge, or flat-out agenda-driven lies and bias.
I raised the topic last week with Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York. “As someone who is a student of the media and a former journalist,” he says, “I find it bizarre — journalistically and morally – that after a month of intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, there were hardly any images shown in Western media of Hamas terrorists holding guns or Hamas terrorists engaged in hostile activities against Israel. It’s as if there’s only one side, and this could be a result of two reasons: Either journalists are looking for the easy story, the available story, what’s in front of their eyes. Or they’re being intimidated by Hamas. And I believe that what we’ve probably had is a combination of both.”
This epidemic of journalistic malpractice is contributing to the pain and loss of life that Palestinians in Gaza are suffering—as it helps to empower Hamas, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., the EU, Canada, Japan, Egypt and Jordan. (This designation is too often not-fit-to-print by the New York Times and other media outlets.) In turn, this no doubt helps spread oil on the rising and frightening anti-Semitism we’re seeing in Europe and elsewhere.
And that is no accident. Hamas’s rarely-mentioned 1988 charter is a throwback to 1930s Nazi anti-Semitism, pure and simple, with a genocidal intent that is unambiguous. Indeed, Hamas is the spiritual successor to the anti-Semitic Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader who famously met and worked with Adolf Hitler and his henchman Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS and architect of the Final Solution, as he aligned the Palestinian Arab cause with the Axis during World War II.
You might say that the battle that Hamas is fighting is not a new one at all, but a continuation of Hitler’s unfinished business from World War II.  If this all sounds new to you it’s no wonder—the media rarely delves beyond the surface into Hamas’s ideology and historical antecedents. But that is but one of many problems with the coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict, and not even the worst.
 Here is a sampling of what the Times, and the media in general, feel is not fit to print:
*** Proof of the use by Hamas of civilians as human shields has finally been ably exposed by reporters for media outlets in Finland, France, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, and others—but not by news organizations with greater resources at hand such as BBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and numerous others. (A too-brief exception: the Washington Post.) Sadly, the Associated Press has failed dismally.  As for Reuters, in 2011, its new editor-in-chief, Stephen Adler, promised to bolster the newswire’s enterprise reporting. In some ways he has, but its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be weak and riddled with falsities.
*** In late 2012, during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, I examined the Facebook page of Fares Akram—the most important Gaza-based reporter for the New York Times [who still works for the Times in Gaza]. His profile photo was not of himself, but of PLO leader Arafat.  A second photo, still in his album, waxes poetically about Arafat in the context of “heights by great men.”  But Arafat, among many things as the longtime leader of the Palestinians (the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre comes to mind), opted for the Second Intifada in 2000, rather than accept a generous peace offer from Israel.  Before he died, he said on TV that dead Palestinian children are good for the cause.
*** Abeer Ayyoub, another Palestinian resident of Gaza and former Times reporter there (until 2013), was boycotting all products made in Israel before and after her Times gig. Her Facebook posts and stories for other publications in 2014 are hostile to Israel.
*** The arithmetic of civilian casualties in Gaza is one of the principal media crimes in this war.  It became obvious weeks ago that major Western journalists routinely swallowed the huge civilian-casualty figures dished out to them by Gaza’s Ministry of Health, a bureaucratic arm of a terrorist group that was shown to have lied about such figures in past wars.  In some cases, reporters cite numbers instead from the United Nations, which gets its numbers from—surprise—the Hamas ministry, a dubious source of information, akin to relying on the Reich Health Office for German civilian-casualty statistics during World War II.  On many occasions, major American news outlets haven’t bothered to even attribute the numbers to either the ministry or the UN—simply reporting as fact that “most,” or “the majority” or the “vast majority” of casualties in Gaza are civilians.
Meanwhile, Israel’s best research institute on the subject, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, is to this day all but ignored by Western media.  They are the only independent outfit that takes the time to match the names of the dead with known terrorists. Their results thus far (with 450 deaths analyzed) show that approximately half are civilians. Based on prior wars with Hamas, it’s highly likely that, in the final analysis, the majority of the dead will have been terrorist operatives.
On July 27th, I spoke at length with a reporter in Gaza who is covering the war for a major, highly respectable U.S. media outlet that has enormous resources.   Regrettably, the reporter insisted on not being named, as his company wouldn’t permit it.  Our talk took place just as Gaza-based reporters for smaller, non-English-speaking media outlets were beginning to reveal proof that Hamas was using civilian centers (such as schools, hospitals, dense residential neighborhoods—even the main hotel in Gaza City where reporters are staying) as rocket-launching sites.
Q:   Israel received severe condemnation from many world leaders after a strike on Al-Shifa, Gaza City’s largest hospital. [Evidence is now showing that it was actually an errant Hamas missile that hit it.]   Are Hamas leaders and fighters using it as a base for operations?
A:  It’s not the fighters who are there [see below: there were fighters there], and they’re not using the hospital to launch rockets from [see below: they did fire rockets from there], they’re using it to see media. These are Hamas spokesmen [at the hospital], not leaders [see below: Hamas leaders are there]...There are probably a couple of reasons [for holding press conferences there].  It’s a safe place. Israel doesn’t kill spokespeople. Also, it’s a good place to get journalists, as we’re passing through the hospital, since that’s where the bodies are coming in.  It’s a place journalists have to go anyway.
 This has been a brilliant strategy by Hamas, although any skeptical reporter would have seen through it—and a couple did.  Why are press conferences being held in a hospital, as opposed to another location such as the main hotel where they stay?   Surely, hotels are also fine places for Hamas to “get journalists” to come to.
Clearly, Hamas wants the reporters to see the dead and injured on a regular basis if they want access to spokespeople.  It safely gives lazy reporters a constant stream of tragedies to write about.  A seasoned reporter would have surmised that this could be the perfect location for Hamas’s leaders to operate from, especially below the first floor.  And, in fact, that is what happened. …
Moreover, this was nothing new.  In 2006, PBS’s Wide Angle aired a documentary showing how gunmen move through the corridors of that hospital, intimidate the staff, and deny them access to protected locations inside the facility—where the camera crew was forbidden from filming….
On the same day I spoke with this reporter, I also reached out to Eado Hecht, an independent defense analyst who has taught military theory and history at the IDF Command and General Staff College. He currently works with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (Israel’s leading think tank), and sits on the board of The Journal of Military Operations.
I asked Hecht about what I call “human-shield blindness,” a rare medical condition that afflicts American reporters based in Gaza – from the New York Times to CNN and Reuters.   “As to foreign journalists seeing things, I am certain they are seeing the use of supposedly innocent buildings for military purposes, but most are either too scared to report this or ideologically motivated not to,” he said.  “Yesterday [Aug 1st], a Finnish reporter did talk shortly about the use of Al-Shifa hospital to launch rockets after seeing it with her own eyes.  But who watches Finnish TV except the Finns?  The use of fear to influence journalists is not new – it has been happening for decades. The ideological motivation is not new either – many of the camera crews are locals.”
 Fortunately, it wasn’t just a Finnish reporter who earned her pay.    Hamas’ operations at the same hospital were the focus of a report by a French-Palestinian journalist for France’s Lib√©ration.  He said that Hamas had summoned him to Al-Shifa Hospital, where he was interrogated by a group of young fighters and told to immediately leave Gaza without his papers; he later asked the newspaper to take down the story.
“No Israeli missile hit the [Al-Shifa] hospital,” says military expert Hecht.  “It was a Hamas rocket, one of approximately 300 that have malfunctioned and landed inside Gaza instead of in Israel.  Apparently there are also cases in which Hamas deliberately bombarded its own residential areas to blame Israel (this was not the case at Shifa) – but the only evidence is not good enough to prove it.   Shifa hospital has been identified by the IDF as providing cover to a network of underground rooms and tunnels that serve it; they have simply stated that under Shifa is the most developed and senior Hamas command post and left it at that. There are certainly many Hamas security personnel around the hospital (they can be seen in the background in TV reports) and they have used the hospital as a launch site for rockets.”
To his credit, William Booth of the Washington Post wrote back on July 15th that Shifa “has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.”   Two days later, Booth and colleagues Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash reported that a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned “to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment.” But those men, the Post wrote, “could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.”
Bottom-line:   With the exception of the Washington Post, audiences in America might need to turn to other countries to follow the war, as well as any future wars between Israel and Hamas.
As for Rudoren’s attack on the Foreign Press Association, in which she was dismissive of the claim that foreign reporters have been intimidated by Hamas, one only hopes she has seen the video last Thursday of a Hamas official conceding that the terrorist group has strong-armed journalists. The official, Isra Al-Mudallal, the head of foreign relations in Hamas’s Information Ministry, also admitted that some reporters were kept under surveillance—and some booted out of Gaza after they tried to film the launching of rockets against Israel, which the official called “collaborating with the occupation.”
Unfortunately, we cannot be certain whether Rudoren or her staff in Jerusalem or Gaza has seen it. There’s still no mention of the video in the newspaper. Not fit to print, apparently.
Thanks in good measure to what investigative reporter Weiss calls “the media intifada”—the trans-Atlantic epidemic of lazy, incomplete, sometimes mendacious journalism and imitations thereof that has plagued the conflict—the cries of Israel as a racist-colonial state are being vomited forth from San Francisco to Spain.
So goes the monotonously screamed lie, despite the presence on the Israeli side of Arab Israelis, Bedouin tribesmen, Druze and black African soldiers—as well as Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jewish youngsters—comprising much of the Israel Defense Forces.
Israel’s diversity is a subject almost never covered in the West. The Times contributes to the racism label, adding to the nonfeasance in its news pages, by printing on its famously predictable op-ed page, cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers tracts by Palestinian officials and Israel-hating academics that label Israel a racist state—a tedious litany of drivel repeated dozens of times before.
Case in point: ‘Israel’s Colonialism Must End,” an August 4th op-ed by Ali Jarbawi, a professor and former Palestinian Authority minister, which is chock full of variants of the words racism and colonialism that he uses to smack Israel with. But it’s all nonsense, and it’s high time that the newspaper’s editorial board stopped inflaming anti-Semitism with this stuff.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining with Dumisani Washington, the head of a group called the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. “The claim that Israel is a racist/colonial/apartheid state is a blatant, bald-faced lie,” he says. “Further, those false accusations cheapen the experiences of South Africans, Black Americans and others who experienced those horrors—like my parents and grandparents. Israel is diverse in virtually every facet of society. It is intellectual dishonesty to affix those gross labels on a liberal democracy.”
While discrimination certainly exists in Israel (although not in its laws), as it does in most countries, the situation is improving and the Israeli-Palestinian struggle has nothing to do with race. For starters, Judaism is not a race, and anybody can choose to become a Jew. The late senator and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, made that clear enough in 1975, when he rose to the rostrum to condemn the UN’s labeling Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination” (a designation the UN reversed). Moynihan called it “a lie” and “this obscenity.”
Nor is Zionism a colonial enterprise, as Jews immigrated in large numbers to escape persecution, not to plant the flags of other nations.
Nor is Israel engaged in “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians, another farcical slander. Since 1948, the Palestinian population has increased eightfold.
But for those who insist on brainwashing themselves into believing it’s a racist conflict, they might want to see a photo posted on Twitter by Guti√©rrez—the Spanish journalist who exposed Hamas’ firing a battery of rockets from the press hotel in Gaza. It’s a picture of an Arab IDF soldier kissing his mother, who is wearing a hijab, on the cheek. “I would be lying if I told you I saw signs of apartheid in Israel,” the journalist wrote next to the photo. “But I’m not going to lie.”
On August 11th, Fox News editor-at-large George Russell exposed an internal UN report revealing financial mismanagement at the agency that “adds a new level of potential credibility to Israeli accusations that internationally-managed relief supplies to Gaza were diverted into construction” of tunnels used by Hamas to organize rocket attacks and infiltrations into Israel.
** Finally, another investigative story worth pursuing, although it will also upset the press corps’ hosts in Gaza, is the sordid relationship between Hamas and UNRWA. While the UN has called for a probe of Israel for war crimes, the agency itself has been caught red-handed three times storing Hamas rockets—and has publicly admitted handing rockets back to Hamas. UNRWA has also admitted to hiring Hamas teachers at the schools, which are sometimes used as recruitment centers for child soldiers. The curriculum brainwashes the kids into working for the elimination of Israel.

Essayist Richard Behar is right. The Western press, particularly The New York Times, aids and abets the Hamas war to exterminate Israel. You’d think The Times was professional enough to know better. It isn’t.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hamas kills Gazan civilians. Where is the UN?

During the forty-plus days of war between Gaza and Israel in July-August, 2014, Arab officials repeatedly accused Israel of killing civilians (“Abbas: Israel committing genocide in Gaza”, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2014). As a result of those accusations, the United Nations (UN) has accused Israel of war crimes (“As civilian casualties rise in Gaza, UN Rights Council agrees probe into alleged ‘war crimes’ “, UN News Centre, July 23, 2014).

But Hamas has also killed Gazan civilians (“Bennett: Hamas is Responsible for Civilian Deaths in Gaza”, Arutz Sheva, July 10, 2014).  Dozens of Hamas missiles, aimed at Israel, never reached Israel. They fell into Gazan residential areas. They killed women and children.

Where was the UN?

This week, it’s been reported that Hamas killed at least 25 Gazan civilians suspected of being ‘collaborators’ with Israel (“PA Blasts Hamas for Executing 'Collaborators with Israel' “, Arutz Sheva, August 24, 2014). These killings had been done outside the legal system. They were summary executions. They were criminal acts against the civilian population of Gaza.

As of 1000 ET August 25, 2014, the UN has said nothing.

Why hasn’t the UN condemned Hamas for killing civilians?  The Palestinian Authority has (ibid, above). The US State Department has (“State Department: Hamas is Responsible for Civilian Casualties”, Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2014). Even Human Rights Watch has condemned at least the summary executions (“Gaza: Halt Executions”, Human Rights Watch, ASugust 25, 2014).  Why hasn’t the UN?

The accusation that Hamas rockets have fallen onto Gazans, killing women and children, does not come from Israel or the West. It comes from an Egyptian.  Author Magdi Kahlil appeared on Al Jazeera TV on August 19, 2014 (see the MEMRI website for the video) to ask, how many civilian Gazan casualties were caused by Hamas?

It was a good question. Everyone says that some 2,000 Gazans have been killed by Israel through August 23, 2014. But what about those Hamas missiles that landed in Gaza? How many of those 2,000 casualties were caused by Hamas? Israel claims that as many as 300 Hamas rockets fell into Gaza. How many civilians died from those rockets?

This Egyptian writer didn’t know. But he did know that Hamas has fired missiles at Israel that landed in Gaza by mistake, killing Gazan civilians.  He cited two examples. First, he said that a Gazan missile had landed in the Al-Shati refugee camp. It killed ten children.  Another missile landed on Al-Shita Hospital. It killed four children. He asked, is it moral to launch missiles from hospitals, schools, bedrooms, mosques and from the roof of a church where thousands of Gazans had found refuge?

He said that the bishop of that church had been interviewed on CBN TV. The bishop himself said that Hamas was launching rockets at Israel from the roof of his church. Is this behaviour a moral high ground?

Well, that question also applies to the UN: where was the moral high ground of the UN?

This Egyptian writer asked, is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide in Al-Shita hospital? Is it a moral high ground to risk civilian lives in that way? He said, Hamas leaders are fleeing like rats, hiding behind patients in Gazan hospitals.

If this Egyptian can ask, is it moral for Hamas leaders to hide behind these patients, we can ask, is it moral for the UN to protect Hamas and criminalize Israel?

This Egyptian was angry—as well he should be. Hamas, he said, garners sympathy over the corpses of children. This is part of their strategy. They consider sympathy garnered over the corpses of children to be a victory.

He said, the whole world knows that Hamas does not care about the spirit of humanity. Hamas does not care about the children. It does not care about its people. What kind of honour is it if it is at the expense of children’s corpses?

Hamas, he declared, does not know the meaning of life. All it knows is the meaning of death.  If you want to die, he told Hamas, go and die. Just don’t let the children die.

The whole world may indeed understand that Hamas does not care about the spirit of humanity. The whole world may also know that Hamas kills civilians. But the UN doesn’t know. The UN is deaf.

Hamas killed its own civilians as it tried to kill Israeli civilians. The UN then busied itself attacking Israel for defending itself (“UN Human Rights Commissioner Attacks Israel Over Self-Defense”, Arutz Sheva, July 11, 2014). The UN ignored Hamas.

Instead, the UN protected Hamas. The UN supported Hamas even as the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to the UNHRC, Ibrahim Khreisheh, declared that missiles being launched by Hamas at Israel constituted a crime against humanity (“WATCH: Palestinian diplomat admits Hamas war crimes”, YNET, July 13, 2014).

What’s going on here? The US knows that Hamas uses human shields to kill civilians for propaganda (see above).  The Palestinian Authority knows (see above). Israel knows (see above). An Egyptian writer knows.

Why is it that only the UN doesn’t know?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

When you support the ‘Palestinian cause’…

It’s fashionable to be anti-Israel. Many even believe that it’s important to be anti-Israel. How else can you advocate for justice?

They say, to support justice, you must attack Israel.

Once you declare that you stand for justice, calling Israel a criminal nation is easy. Doesn’t everyone know that Israel oppresses innocent Arabs?

There’s just one problem. It’s not true. Israel isn’t the evil one in the Arab-Israel conflict.

Israel doesn’t preach hate. It doesn’t call to kill anyone. It doesn’t call people pigs and apes.

Hamas and Fatah do.

If you want to see evil emanating from the Arab-Israel conflict, here’s an article for you from The Algemeiner. It was written by The Alegmeiner’s editor-in-chief, Dovid Efune. It was posted August 17, 2014:

“The Anti-Jewish Riots Have Exposed Hamas”

The editors at British newspaper The Guardian are beside themselves.

Somebody forgot to pass on the ‘Anti-Israel Rioting Etiquette Handbook’ to the largely vicious and thoroughly bigoted hordes who gathered to call for Israel’s demise in the streets of the world’s major cities over this past month.

Media reports said that the marches were prompted by Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and sympathy for Palestinian children.

So why is it that protesters in Paris were chanting “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right,” and activists in London proclaimed “Heil Hitler” and “Oh Jew, you will die”?

Can anyone explain why Muslims in the Netherlands were referring to “dirty Jews from the sewers,” or why in New York they shouted “Intifada, intifada!”? And why was “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” heard on the streets of Germany?

One group even sought to boycott McDonalds because “the owner is Jewish” and many of the rallies featured Swastika banners held high.

Of course all this left the honchos at The Guardian, and others who are generally aligned with the anti-Israel cause, feeling rather uncomfortable, and they quickly moved to disassociate themselves from the hate.

In an editorial on Friday, The Guardian wrote, “It should not need saying, but it does: people can be as angry as they like at the Israeli government, but to attack a synagogue, threaten children at a Jewish school, or throw a brick through the window of a Jewish grocery store is vile and contemptible racism. It cannot be excused by reference to Israeli military behaviour. The two are and should be kept utterly distinct.”

But The Guardian has completely missed the point.

The sad truth is that while the situation in Gaza may have been used to ignite the raging protesters, it is the marches themselves and their message that have exposed a key motivation in Gaza’s war against Israel.

Hamas has made no secret of its visceral hatred of Jews, and anti-Jewish animus is enshrined in the group’s constitution.

The Charter reads: “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

According to a recent Anti-Defamation League poll, the Palestinian-controlled territories contain the most anti-Semitic population in the world, with 93% holding anti-Semitic views.

Away from Gaza, and Hamas’s iron grip on messaging, which is tailored to garner world sympathy, downplaying the elements of Hamas’s ideology that are unpalatable to the West, and highlighting Palestinian suffering, their allies chanting in the streets have exposed their genocidal aims.

For The Guardian and other flagships of the progressive left, it doesn’t get much starker than this.

There is simply no legitimate case to be made that the tent of modern liberalism can hold the likes of Hamas and their ideological partners.

To accept their narrative as legitimate is to implicate Liberals and their ideological camp in the prejudice.

No amount of editorial hair splitting will cleanse them of the association.


Martin Luther King, Jr is said to have quipped, there is no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. They’re the same thing. He said that more than forty years ago. He was right then—and he’s still right.

When you claim to seek justice (as the ‘Palestinian cause’ does), you surrender all claim to justice the moment your defenders cry, ‘Death to the Jews’ or ‘Destroy Israel’.

That’s exactly what protesters around the world are doing; and it’s exactly what Hamas has written into its Charter. Such public hate aimed at destroying Jews means only one thing: the ‘Palestinian cause’ is not just. Justice never allows for the extermination of Jews--never.

Evil does.

We saw that evil in Nazi Germany. We see it again in the ‘Palestinian cause’.

When you support the ‘Palestinian cause’, you support hate, racism and genocide. You support the extermination of the Jewish people.

You become a Nazi.

Friday, August 22, 2014

We have said goodbye to David Gordon

Late yesterday afternoon (Thursday, August 21, 2014), at Israel’s National Cemetery, Har Herzl, the family and friends of IDF soldier Cpl. David Menachem Gordon said goodbye to their son and friend. Per the family’s request, no public notice had been given.

The burial was to be a private affair. It was. Less than 500 attended.

This is my personal recollection of the burial service. It is not a verbatim report.

There were many soldiers. They came to honour David. So did friends, acquaintances and strangers who came simply to pay their final respects to a young man who had come to Israel to join his people. Those who came were Haredi (ultra-orthodox), Dati Leumi (religious nationalist) and Secular. Although those who came to honour David held very different religious beliefs, we cried together as one family, with one grieving heart.

As the grave-side ceremony began, a military honour-guard made up of his comrades carried his flag-wrapped coffin down a shaded path to the burial-site. It was a truly silent, somber moment.

David’s family and closest friends sat beside him as his coffin was lowered into his grave. The rest of us stood behind the family (I couldn’t see from my position when precisely David was lowered to his final resting place. I assume it was at this time).

As David lay in his grave before us, the burial ceremony began with a prayer. A special grave-site Kaddish (mourner’s prayer) was recited. 

We listened to Psalm 16:

Protect me, Oh G-d, for I have sought refuge in You…You guide my destiny….You will not abandon my soul to the grave…You will make known to me the fullness of joys in Your Presence.

David’s father said the mourner’s Kaddish for his son.

David’s Battalion Commander spoke. He said, David, you came to the IDF in 2013. You were assigned to us, the Shaked Battalion, in Givati. You completed your basic training. You passed your advanced training. You were noticed by your officers. You were identified as one who had high qualities. You were chosen as Assistant to the Platoon Commander. This is the most desirable and prestigious position a young soldier can attain. This year, you fulfilled your destiny. You fought for your country in Gaza and you played a significant part in that fight.

David, you were a gifted sniper. You were always first to volunteer. You always performed at the highest level.

Another military speaker—whose name I couldn’t catch—said, David, today we give to you a last honour. We bring you to a mountain—a mountain of heroes—Har [which means, ‘mountain of’] Herzl. David, you were a soldier in the army of HaShem [G-d]. You now go up the Beit Din [Court] on High. David, please ask HaShem to bless us with peace.

My son-in-law spoke. He said, David, your parents have lost a son. Your comrades in Gavati [his battle unit] have lost a brother. Many of us have lost a friend.

David, while you served, you were always caring for your comrades. You fought for them. You saved some of their lives. Now, you are gone. David, today your mission changes. Now, you watch over your comrades from a more strategic position. David, you are our son. We will miss you.

David’s officer spoke. He said, David, you came to me nine months ago. You were all smiles. You never complained. You were always ready to help another. You were always telling me we weren’t practicing hard enough. You were always pushing to do more, become better, do better. These are the reasons I chose you to be my Assistant. I have never regretted that decision. You were special. You participated in the fight to defend your country. I am proud of you.

The service ended with a rifle-fire salute—three shots in quick succession.  We heard the words, “And David said to Gaad, ‘I am exceedingly distressed. Let us fall into HaShem’s Hand, for His Mercies are abundant’”.

The final grave-site prayer was recited, beginning with the words, “O G-d, full of mercy…”

 Then, finally, we sang for David—one last time—Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva [the hope].

Goodbye, David Menachem Gordon. You were a good man. You were kind. You were loyal to your comrades in battle. You fulfilled your duty with honour and courage. You were an outstanding soldier. You overflowed with talent and potential. Oh, David, we will miss you.

May your family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. May the Builder of Jerusalem-renewed comfort you with an everlasting peace.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cease-fire? Hamas demands war

This week, Hamas broke yet another cease-fire. Between Tuesday-Wednesday, August 19-20, 2014, it fired more than 200 rockets at Israel. To give you a sense of how that felt in Israel, consider what happened here yesterday (Wednesday, August 20, 2014) between noon and seven-thirty pm.       
During that time-period, Israeli air sirens went off in Ashkelon, Ashdod,  Kiryat Gat, Ashdod, Ashdod, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha'asarah, the Gderot Region, Hevel Yavneh, Kiryat Ata, Ashkelon, Kerem Shalom, Ashdod, the Eshkol Region, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha'asarah, the Gaza Envelope, Ashdod, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Sderot, Sha'ar Hanegev, Eshkol,  Eshkol, the Gaza Envelope, Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Sderot, Sha'ar Hanegev, Be'er Sheva, Negev Region, Bnei Shimon, Gaza Envelope, Kissufim, Nahal Oz, Alumim, Kerem Shalom, Ashdod, Eshkol, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha'asarah, Gaza Envelope, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Eshkol, Sderot, Sha'ar Hanegev, Eshkol, Gaza Envelope, Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, Negev Region, Nirim, Ein Hashlosha, Bnei Shimon, Kerem Shalom, Kissufim, Nahal Oz, Alumim, the Gaza Envelope, Eshkol, the Gaza Envelope, Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon, Be'eri, Be'er Sheva Region, Gaza Envelope, Eshkol,  Gush Dan, Shfela Region, Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, Gaza Envelope, Kiryat Ono, Ashkelon, Gaza Envelope, Kissufim, Ashkelon, Gaza Envelope, Kerem Shalom.
The list above adds up to at least 87 air raids in just over seven hours—one air raid every five minutes. If you lived in Ashdod or Ashkelon, you sometimes got sirens back-to-back, even back-to-back-to-back.
Look at the list again. Look at how often some places were targeted. How you like to live there?
Most of these places are close to Gaza. Can you imagine living with so many air raids? Try to prepare a meal or type out an email in that kind of situation. Try to change a diaper or dress a child.
Some 500,000 Jews live in these places. They do not live with peace or security, something the UN says they have the right to do. They live with air raid sirens.
Hamas broke a cease-fire. It attacks Israel. The state of Israel has the right to defend its citizens. In fact, according to some, the state has a moral obligation to defend its citizens.
The world doesn’t care about Israel. It protects Hamas. It chooses terror over democracy.  
How strange. Hamas is a killer. It aims to destroy Israel. How can one say such a horrible thing? Read the Hamas Charter. It’s online. It’s all there: the only solution to the ‘Palestinian problem’ is Jihad (Holy war) against Jews. The Hamas Charter rejects ‘political compromise’.
That’s why so many countries label Hamas as a ‘terror organization’. Hamas isn’t dedicated to peace. It’s dedicated to destroying Israel.
Hamas is obsessed. It will not accept peace with Israel. Instead, it turns everything it touches into a bomb or a weapon in order to attack Jews. It will take your money and buy weapons instead of food. It will use cement to build terror tunnels instead of homes.
It’s a terror organization. It will kidnap Jews and kill them (“Hamas Admits it Murdered Three Israeli Teens”, Arutz Sheva, August 21, 2014). It will plot mass murder of Jews in Israel (“Israel says it foiled Hamas plan for massive attacks on Israel, coup against PA”, Times of Israel, August 18, 2014). It will pound Israel with rockets.
Hamas means what it says in its morally despicable Charter. It wants to kill Jews for allah.
When you support Hamas, that's what you support.
You might not want to hear this, but Hamas is a racist killer that promotes genocide against Jews. If you don’t believe that, read the Hamas Charter. Just ‘google’ it. Find a translation. Take a look at it.
Then read the definition of ‘genocide’ (see Raphael Lemkin, "Genocide as a Crime under International Law", American Journal of International Law (1947) Volume 41(1):145-151). Then read the definition of ‘racism’ (see the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights).
Then, compare those definitions with the printed words in the Hamas Charter. It’s that simple.
You won’t need a PhD to figure it out. Hamas promotes racism. It calls to commit genocide against the Jews of Israel.
Jews, meanwhile, want to live in peace and security. Haven’t you noticed? Jews don’t declare that they intend to kill Arabs. Jews don’t declare that they intend to wipe Gaza or Ramallah off the face of the map. Jews don’t embrace genocidal hate.
Hamas does. Fatah does.
What do you want the state of Israel to do when enemies like that attack Israel’s civilians?
Tell me.
Hamas wants war. Hamas demands war. What should Israel?

If you want to think about the Arab-Israel conflict, remember the hate. Remember the calls to kill Jews. Remember the genocidal Jew-hate.
Then tell me what Israel should do with an enemy like Hamas.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

David Gordon

Last update: August 21, 2014

know David Gordon. I know him through my youngest daughter. She knew David Gordon because he went to her Hebrew High School for a while. She also knew him through the OU’s NCSY (National Council of Synagogue Youth) Program.

David Gordon was part of a chevra (group) of young people, recent High School graduates, who came to Israel. They came to pursue their religious studies. My daughter was one of them. They all stayed.

They made aliyah. They became Israelis. They joined some form of National Service. The boys went in to the Israel Defense Force (IDF). They became ‘lone soldiers’.

A ‘lone soldier’ is one who has no immediate family in Israel. This is an important fact because soldiers in the IDF typically need family support to purchase personal items and some military gear. They also need immediate family because, in Israel, soldiers typically go home for Shabbat. If one has no immediate family here, he could have no place to go.

Israel maintains a ‘lone soldier program’. It helps these very special young men who have come here alone to defend us.

My daughter stays in contact with her chevra. She helps them. In a way, she’s a big sister for them. She’s ‘family’ for them.

David Gordon was part of that ‘family’.

Monday morning, August 18, 2014, our own family received disturbing news. David Gordon had disappeared.

I had seen David earlier. He had recently returned from combat duty in Gaza. He was still exhausted from close to three weeks of constant combat. He said that he hadn’t changed clothes in ‘weeks’. He was happy to be able to relax.

He looked good. Yes, he had lost a ‘ton’ of weight since I had last seen him. He also had too much sunburn on his face. He was really tired.

But he looked strong. He was confident. He said that, when he had gone into combat, he felt well-trained. He felt prepared. He felt ready to do what he was supposed to do. I will not share with you details, but I gather from him that his assignment was extremely dangerous. He said that he felt good about what he did and how well he did it.

He said he was ready for more training. He looked forward to it.

I would say that, from his remarks, he had found a calling. In my opinion, he had discovered that defending Israel was something he wanted to do. He was not only ready to do that, but eager for the challenges he would now face because of that decision.

Now, Monday, August 18, he was missing. The police were taking his disappearance seriously. They were tracking leads aggressively, to create a time-line of his movements. On Tuesday, August 19, the press announced his disappearance. Arutz Sheva was the first to headline, “Public Asked for Help Finding Missing Soldier”. The story said,

“The Israel Police seeks the public's help in search of a missing soldier, David Menachem Gordon, 21, who was last seen on Sunday at about 12:00 pm in the Medical Corps facility in Tzrifin.
Gordon is 170 cm tall, has a medium build, brown eyes and black hair.
He was wearing the crisp, off-base Aleph or "A" IDF uniform with the purple Givati Brigade beret, was carrying a Micro Tavor gun and a large blue and back hiking backpack.
Gordon speaks both Hebrew and English with a prominent American accent.
Anyone with information on Gordon's whereabouts is asked to call the Police hotline at 100, or 08-927-9244.”

Soon after, Haaretz published a headline with no story. Then Ynet and The Jerusalem Post ran a story similar to Arutz Sheva’s, suggesting a press release being repeated at each news outlet.  Then, an hour behind that, The Times of Israel came on board.

That night, Haaretz was the first to report, “Missing U.S.-Israeli soldier found dead, army says”. The worst had been confirmed. David Menachem Gordon, our family friend, one of Israel’s lone soldiers, was dead.

The details of what happened have not yet been released.  No doubt, there will be more to read about David. Right now, gossip--much of it not pleasant, some of it untrue, all of it not proper--fills the vacuum.

Rebbitizin Esther Jungreis has a book titled, Life is a Test. That’s what this story is for you—a test.

 Will you read about David Gordon’s death and speak Lashon Harah (gossip)? When you learn about David Gordon’s death, will you turn against aliyah? When you read that David Gordon is dead, will you turn against supporting Israel?

David Gordon has proved he is a bona fide hero. He was a proud young soldier. He stood where many fear to stand. He defended you against an enemy who wants to exterminate you (“Hamas Spells it Out: Our Aim is the Extermination of the Jews”, Arutz Sheva, July 29, 2014).

David Gordon stood up for Israel. Will you stand up for him?